Isola #3 Review

Posted June 5, 2018 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl

Art by: Karl Kerschl and Msassyk

Published by: Image

I’ve been mostly unenthused with Isola since the book debuted back in April. I was bummed too, because I’ve really come to enjoy Brenden Fletcher’s work over the last couple years. Unfortunately, I felt Isola was flailing, lacking anything I cared enough about to latch onto. Regardless, Karl Kerschl’s art brought enough to the table I didn’t mind coming back for issue #3.

Honestly, I’m glad I did. With this issue, Fletcher and Kerschl really start to open up the world, adding interesting layers to characters who have been entirely static. Just giving the protagonist someone to actually talk to goes a long way, and for the first time the plot seems to be moving forward.

In large part, this is due to the relationship between the Queen and the captain of her guard actually going somewhere. There was a bit of a disconnect in the first couple issues, which I now understand was an intentional story telling decision. In fact, this issue’s revelations almost entirely reframe the events of the first two, so reading them all consecutively actually makes for a really solid story.

The upswing in the writing is accompanied by some of Kerschl’s best art yet. This issue has some sweet page layouts, used to expertly convey small plot details and moods. Plus, the issue boasts some awesome creature designs.

For as great as the art is, the coloring is really what elevates Isola’s aesthetic. Regardless of the setting, the colors have a vibrant feel to them, making every page pop. Even the moody blues and blacks employed by this issue retain that feel, although the brighter pages are definitely the real show stoppers.

While Isola #3 marks a major shift in my investment, I’m not all the way in yet. The visuals are enough to keep me going for a while, but I’m going to need some strong follow up for the plot and characters to continue holding my attention. I certainly hope Fletcher and Kerschl are able to make it happen, because now I’m at the point where I’ll be legitimately disappointed if this book falters.

My concerns, such as they are, aren’t quite enough for me to recommend skipping Isola. With a couple more issues like this one, the book could turn into something you won’t want to miss. Still, I would recommend holding out for the first trade to dive in, in case it falters a little going forward. And even if it doesn’t, I imagine the first five or six issues will end up reading better in one sitting than over half a year.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.